The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation opened in 1797 and is around 13 miles long. It was used to transport coal, bricks and timber inland and mainly grain and flour out.
Once commercial craft ceased to use the navigation, pleasure boats were allowed to travel along it. The management of the waterway then passed into the hands of Essex Waterways Ltd in 2005.
The upper waters of the Chelmer, Can and Wid join the top end of the Navigation and can be paddled when water levels permit.
A licence is required to paddle the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation. This is not included with British Canoeing membership. Please see licence information above.